Another Update on the Case of FDIC v PricewaterhouseCoopers re: Colonial Bank

On February 28 the US Justice Department fined Deloitte & Touche LLP $149.5 million for alleged fraud against the government related to its role as the independent outside auditor of Taylor, Bean & Whitaker Mortgage Corp. Also: The damages phase of the FDIC v. PwC case regarding Colonial Bank is set to begin in Washington DC on March 20.

Whistleblowers Are Not Pretty

This article was originally published at on March 3, 2010. Most don’t wear stilettos, although Cynthia Cooper is fairly attractive for a blond. Harry Markopolos, the Madoff “hero” whose new book is out is being called a whistleblower. I do not see him really warming up to that label or really warming up at […]

Auditor Independence: Will “Crisis” Cause Compromise?

Given the pressures on costs and the longstanding ties some finance, audit, and accounting executives have with the accounting firms, it is not surprising that the weakening of the independence commitment may come from the companies themselves. What’s the downside for them? The potential for scrutiny by corporate governance experts and journalists? You can’t argue with a recession. And in the event of an accounting scandal or restatement, plaintiff’s lawyers will have an uphill battle to penetrate the impenetrable auditor liability shields and caps.

What’s lost in all of this discussion of efficiency and cost cutting?

Independence protects shareholder’s interests.

Compliance Week 2009 Day 1: What A Difference A Day Makes

It was a great first day yesterday. I’ve been telling Matt Kelly, Editor of Compliance Week, that this year is better than ever. One profound change is the Twitter presence this year. Last year I was the only one Twittering, Matt did not yet have blogs on the Compliance Week site, and fewer people knew or cared what I was doing or why. This year, I share the front row at every presentation (and the backchannel) with several bloggers/Twitterers.

So You Want to Be A Government Auditor…

My friend and former colleague, Richard Chambers, is now the President of the Institute of Internal Auditors. Richard has a lifetime of internal audit experience and is my go-to-guy when it comes to the fine points of the internal auditing career. He’s now writing a blog for the IIA and his latest post touches on the challenges of being a government auditor.

“…with an alarming frequency, it seems that some of our colleagues who audit local government operations are waging an uphill battle against formidable political forces.

Update (2) – More FAS 5 – More Transparency or More Shilling

And the US Chamber of Commerce also pipes in.  As expected, they are on the side of their corporate management constituency.  Although I agree with their position about erosion of attorney client privilege, I do not agree with their position regarding this privilege when it comes to information requested by auditors. Auditors (internal and external) […]

Countrywide Needs Some Help – Duh!

A faithful reader and friend brought these two ads to my attention this morning. Looks like they’re looking for both the #1 and #2 people. What happened to their primo position as risk management leaders per the IIA? Anyone know what happened to the incumbents? I would take the job. If they gave me a […]

Big 4 Blind Items – Spring Edition

For your commenting pleasure, a variety pack of ponder-ables… Which multi billion dollar global government contractor was one of the few, if only,  public companies of its size to be cited for a material weakness due to an ineffective internal audit function?  This is not the typical “completely missing” internal audit function but one that existed […]